"On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...."

This beloved traditional holiday song is the inspiration for a seasonal blog series, "12 Days/12 Ways", an effort to draw attention to 12 worthy not for profit groups in Playa del Carmen and along the Riviera Maya and address their particular needs during this holiday season.

For each of the 12 days of Christmas, the BuyPlaya Blog, better known as "Life's a Beach", will spotlight a charitable organization. Many of these may already be familiar to locals and frequent travelers to this area. Others, perhaps those most in need of recognition and support, may be new to our readers. It is my plan to do this every year, with updated information and wish lists.

The "12 Day/12 Ways" list has been completed for 2010. The organizations are listed in no particular order. If you have a favorite charity that you feel belongs on this list, collect all of the information you can and I will be happy to consider your group for inclusion next year.


Hekab Be Library promotes literacy and learning opportunities among children and adults in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in order to meet their educational goals. Serving as a tool for educational, social and economic progress, we provide individuals and families with resources for scholastic advancement, helping improve people’s language and literacy skills, while promoting cultural preservation and awakening the desire to understand other customs and ways of thinking.

The Hekab Be Library acquaints young children with books, provides learning resources for school children, offers literacy and writing classes in the Spanish language for adults, offers classes in the English language for older children and adults, conducts programs in the Maya language, and offers classes in the Maya language.

Hekab Be Library Akumal 

Current most needed items include:

  • HP printer cartridges, the following models: hp 21 black; hp 22 tricolor
  • Blank sheets of colored computer printer paper, various colors
  • Pocket folders (2 pocket)
  • Scotch tape and/or scotch tape dispensers
  • 3 laptop locks, or a cable that would enable us to lock all 3 laptops together
  • AA batteries

Other items needed:

  • Packs of solid colored craft foam sheets, used for arts and crafts projects
  • Colored pencils
  • Liquid white glue such as Elmer's
  • Water based/washable liquid paints such as Crayola kids paint (liter size or larger)
  • Construction paper
  • Laminating sheets, various sizes, but especially letter size
  • Child safe scissors with rounded points
  • 3 ring binders
  • Letter size clear plastic sleeves that can be used in a 3 ring binder
  • Thick or jumbo crayons
  • Play Doh (or generic brand)-- small size cans keep longer in this climate
  • Bead sets for making bracelets and necklaces
  • White-out or any brand of liquid corrector
  • Poster board, white or any color. Sam's and City Club in Playa del Carmen sell this in packs of 100-200 sheets
  • Various kinds of paper to use in art projects: tissue paper, crepe paper & shiny/foil paper in assorted colors
  • Blank white paper (8-1/2 x 11) such as copy paper or any standard paper sold in bulk

Here is a list of gifts that children who frequent the library said they would like to receive for Christmas. Of course, the library welcomes any kind of toy donations and help give these special children a very Merry Christmas! The Annual Hekab Be Christmas Party will be on Sunday, December 19 at 3 p.m. Please try to attend if you are in town!

  • Backpacks for boys and girls, including backpacks with wheels
  • Roller skates for kids 8 yrs and older
  • Soccer balls, volleyballs
  • Kids’ watches
  • Hannah Montana pencil cases
  • Skateboards
  • Dress shoes for girls
  • Sneakers for boys and girls, soccer cleats for boys
  • Clothing for boys and girls
  • Toy cars (generally we ask that people give toys which don’t require batteries since families can’t afford to replace them)
  • Stuffed animals
  • Bags or small purses for middle school age girls
  • Chemistry sets for kids
  • Barbies or other similar dolls 
  • Dora the explorer doll
  • Puzzles
  • Board games (with instructions in Spanish or games that don’t require instruction)
Monetary donations are greatly appreciated to keep all the wonderful library programs running and can be made through this site. If you are in Akumal, your donations can be left with Carlos at the library. Spanish language books for all reading levels are always welcomed! If you are not going to be in Akumal in time for Christmas but would like to send us some toys or books, email the library and they may be able to find someone who can bring it down: akumallibrary@gmail.com.

Hekab Be Library Akumal